Your heart is doing better than you think!
Last weekend we Oregonians enjoyed a brief recession
from the barrage of rain. While answering the beckoning call of gardening. I discovered 4 tidbits that encouraged me. Rest, Rhythm, Removal, Reward. Thought I would share my winters table with you. With over 60 inches of rain a year, almost double the national average you can understand why we rush outdoors. That means a halt to indoor projects, load up the outdoor gear and or if you're a farmer/gardener, your heading outside "weather" your ready or not. A missed chance at yard work not wearing your rain gear, is a missed opportunity to dance with a little vitamin D, surrounded by the beauty of nature.
See the blue sky!
My flower pots need trimming back, clean out leaf debris in my KOI pond and tidy up the frozen remains in my raised beds. Water is literally standing several feet deep in the ditches, winters growth in the farmer's fields struggling for a breath of air underneath the wash of seasonal storms. Your muck boots squish going across a moss-choked lawn, yet my soul is rejoicing at the touch of the sun once more. I hear the call of my dormant fruit trees and roses with visions bursting in my head of a fragrant harvest.
Lush Moss growing under my pergola! Argh!
There are many unique ways the God talks to me, talks to you, as vast and different as the shapes of mouths and ears we see in our family portraits. Overall, I'd say that nature has a voice of her own echoing her creator's heart. It took me years to figure out that I was able to have an audience with Him where ever my day took me, it was my awareness and attention span that changed. God could use any creative "medium" to talk to me. He created my senses to know, celebrate and commune with Him. Nature, TV, music, crazy drivers on the freeway, during quite a time, my daydreams,
everything is an expression spoken from what an individual has previously harvested.
As a quote says: "It's all in there". What do you mean Kristen when you say it's all in there? Your heart has a memory system, you harvest life going on around you. God has a recording system, Heaven is full of libraries. They have scrolls, mandates and records containing eternity and all that is written in it. And being written. Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you...Even the enemy, our accuser, has a sick video recorder that captures our weaknesses and loss. Redemption has been paid for by the blood of Jesus but not necessarily employed. The word of God testifies like this;
Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person.
Let me see, say you stepped on my toe, I yell because it's very painful. Well if we were family or friend and there were unresolved issues between us, more might come out of my mouth than just, rackem,shakem, fooy fooy fooy! The pain would springboard off the unresolved issues that were left inside of me. I might cop an attitude, give you the silent treatment, rolling around my thoughts would be "he meant to do that". What happens if my toe was broken? Whew now, finances are involved. Could get scandalous. Simple example. Another example. Well, this one was real for me at one point in my life. Romance novels. I read them like candy. One day the Lord called me on it. They were polluting my thought life and damaging my marriage. They were going into my heart via my eye "gate" and then coming out as dissatisfaction between my husband and me. Wow, we have discussed a lot already. Back to this lovely day.
This February day was singing an unrestrained, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine". And I'm seeking; You make me Happy when skies are grey.
The importance of Rest
"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us." -Maya Angelou
Rest should refresh you just as much a night of sleep engages a different consciousness. The Lords rest is grace infused, grace always leads to mercy. I didn't do anything to deserve it, but I choose to step into what He has offered. Rest, play, enjoy.
Rhythm; Part of a plant organism's average annual rhythm is dormancy,
Life hushes its self preparing for a Winter's rest, it is only following the cadence of life, the rhythm of life to recede, rest, slow down. For the months stepping into winter I fed my KOI a high wheat germ food to build up there fat level in there body preparing for a season of dormancy. The time we spend with God establishes buttery fat level, a supernatural nourishment in our hearts. Communion strengthens. What we do on a day to day basis is a rhythm that feeds our soul. Life's supernaturally rhythm re-trenches when you spend time with Him.
Your heart is doing better than you think!
For years Don and I have been fortunate to have the muscles of 4 vibrant boys around the house. They are adults now, 3 of them out on there own, 1 married, the youngest still at home with a full-time job. You get used to their brawn being around when it comes to pruning and yard clean up. I didn't realize until I pruned my large King apple tree, weighty nippers extended out, standing on the top of the ladder, I did it in a little under 2 hours, wow, my commitment to working out 3 times a week, (aerobic step & weights)has paid off. Just a little (info-mmercial). That is a benefit I use with my Amazon prime membership. They have awesome workout videos included in the service. I enjoy Jenny Ford Step and weights. A very inexpensive exercise plan.
I share with you often about the gift of repentance. I hold it dear and close to my heart as a high priority in my relationship with Jesus. It is a gift that removes guilt, condemnation, pain that my soul many times will try to hold on to. I have brief hands of video that shares a bit of my communion time with you.
Pruning, removal, clean up, forgiveness, all take part in bringing forth fruit. If I didn't prune my roses, last years branches would not support this springs blossoms.
See, the heart is doing better than we think!
Look my sweet pink tipped dwarf tulips are popping up!
While I was enjoying this glorious day. Dragging the wheelbarrow here and there, trimming, cleaning, picking up the wind-swept branches, I clipped back my pots to discover life is already bursting its reward.
Hosta's in my outdoor pot's poking up!
Succulents forming in the wet cool days of February!
Follow thru, patience and the natural rhythm of life push onto the scene. My heart, your heart and the concerns that we give to Him are moving.
Rest, Rhythm, Removal and now Reward His plan's are at work for our good. Concern you can move out of "Dodge". He is well pleased with my heart. Every time we look to Him, every time we focus on things above, every time we surrender. He is a loving, good God, my heart is blessed more than I know.
A true REWARD, with the last light of the day. Finished!
together, we sat and were mesmerised by her face;
A tribute to a kindred spirit and the transitioning of friendship
Smuggled & hidden In a carpet for 17 years, Selah!
A musical/poetic term meaning: just think about that! Pause for a moment and reflect.
Did the Artist Ferraris even know this little girls name?
How long did she have to pose in this overwhelming large room?
Great, Royal people are standing all around, terror, death and change grasping the country. This last hurrah of Empress Zita, the wife of Emperor Charles I of Austria, at Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace in 1918, hires an artist to capture on canvas an Aristocracy that was passing away.
For a moment, I'll call her Sarah, the little girl with the round face, sketched clothing outline and a crown of wildflowers in her hair, she is memorialized with unfinished pencil markings of other war orphans around her. The painting, smuggled by an Opera singer and rolled up in a carpet for 17 years before finding its way to a bank vault.
Together, with my friend Julie, we sat and were mesmerized by her face. The depth of Sarah's look, few eyes in the painting moved with you as you watched, pondered. Our entire girls day out found a deeper purpose, humbled, awed and sealed within our hearts.
Small in comparison to the traumatic feelings of the persons in the painting,
Today I am reflecting on the transition of friendships once more. All the reasons for Julie moving back to Arizona are blooming with destiny and opportunity. I celebrate her dreams. We also live in an era of technological wonders; I am very familiar with Skype, hangouts, zoom the list goes on. Not the same century as our little friend Sarah when hearts were penned or painted on paper, sealed, sent sometimes lost. We can communicate in just a breath. I'm thankful, so very thankful to be sharing that breath with Julie.
Friends, I have had many, some for a short season, others part of a workforce, budding friendships didn't make it past the growing pains of youth, the sad accounts are the friends that our opinions changed, and those differences separated us. No, not unforgiveness, it's just that sometimes you come to divine bridges and they are unable to cross with you. Our hearts can finally celebrate at a later time, growths that a disagreeable interval brings to us. You have heard the saying; I can count my friends on the one hand? Yes, I can! My longest and still growing friendship since 8th grade. If I'm adding right that is 45 years. I invite you to read Suzanne's shortbread; it's more than just a recipe.
A kindred spirit moving away feels much like this painting; there are still lines you desire to pencil in together but the moments spent are like Sarah's gaze. Caught in a timeless place. It's up to us to smuggle the treasure's God gives us, take the risk of letting go and number them in your left hand.
My heart is renovated once again.
I opened myself up to be loved, to be known, to question and that special friendship has enlarged my territory and spread out my tent pegs.
The genuine and pure of spirit are always worth the trying souls that pass.
Friendship's an unfinished masterpiece.
An in-depth video by Eugene curator regarding The Last Audience of the Hapsburgs